The New Statesman Books of the Year 2020 List: Kate Teltscher, Paul Mendez, Kevin Maxwell and Evie Wyld

We are delighted to see four Aitken Alexander authors on the New Statesman best reading of 2020 list, according to New Statesman friends and contributors. 

Johanna Thomas-Corr “loved the verve of Paul Mendez’s debut novel, Rainbow Milk (Dialogue Books) about a black, gay Jehovah’s Witness who runs away to London where he becomes a sex worker.” She added: “Full of tenderness and soul, it’s a book about shame and humiliation and how you overcome it.”

Bernardine Evaristo recommended Forced Out by Kevin Maxwell (Granta), which “tells the story of a gay, black, working-class, university-educated man who joins the police force as a detective and then endures such corruption and discrimination that he suffers a breakdown and leaves. “

According to Claire Tomalin, “Kate Teltscher’s Palace of Palms: Tropical Dreams and the Making of Kew (Picador) is the most enthralling historical book I’ve read this year – a superbly researched account of how architects working in glass and iron brought the tropics to England in the great Palm House in 1848, and the horticulturalists who travelled the world to collect the plants that filled it.”

William Boyd chose Evie Wyld’s The Bass Rock, saying “Not to be missed, it’s as good as her first two excellent novels, a dark exploration of male violence against women set over three time zones on the same stretch of Scottish coast that contains the eponymous rock.”

Read the full list here.